Hi! So obviously this episode of This is Us aired on November 17th and it is now January 5th and I still haven't blogged about it which is just rude! Because the mid-season (is that what we're calling it?) premiere is tonight, I thought I'd come back with a short blog recapping the last episode we got before that Winter break. However, because it's been so long that I barely remember it, y'all get my Notes app version* instead.
*by this I literally mean these are the things I wrote in the Notes app as the episode was airing. Usually I make a whole recap out of them but not for this one! Okay here we go:
- Kevin overworking himself makes me sad.
- This director seems like a dooooouche but he has excellent hair.
- This adoption isn't gonna go well, make my words.
- They named her Chloe...that ain't maybe-Haley.
- Annie talking like she's a March sister LOL
- Malik shadowing Randall, that's cute. Glad we got to see him and Deja interact.
- Not Malik falling asleep
- Yeah Ellie doesn't like that they named that baby
- Rebecca babying Kevin parallel? Idk I kind of get it
- Okay so Malik did not cut the cameras
- Deja calls Randall 'Dad' and Beth by her name.
- This scene would be more awk but SKB is fine
- Jack's color is green and Becca's is pink.
- Little Kevin is such a dick lmao
- Why does Ellie feel so sketchyyyy
- Malik is so BOLD asking for an internship
- "Honestly" = doesn't mean honest
- "I think I love this melted wax baby" Toby omg stop
- What's wrong with Kate??? You always sad bish
- This teen pregnancy thing seems out of character for Kate??? Like doesn't make sense to me and I don't buy it 5 seasons in
- JACK PEARSON YOU ARE NOT AN ORDINARY MAN
- Kevin still uses the flash cards :( I love that
- Why did Foster send him a basket? Eh, I don't care.
- Randall looking at the memes
- Oh shit that one guy is gonna find him
- Do you ever think about how Jack died and cry
- I'm emotionaaaaaal
- JANUARY 5TH? Fuck that shit.
Okay! Hope y'all enjoyed that unfiltered mess! I will return with regular recaps this week, but I will always use my trusty notes app and thank it for giving us this messy AF blog post.
Hi, my friends. Episode 3 of This is Us's fifth season was entitled, "Changes" because things are, you guessed it, changing! And yes, this is in fact the third episode because the premiere, "Forty" was two episodes! I know what you're all thinking: I'm great at counting, and you're right!
Here is your little SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't seen last night's episode of This is Us, don't read this recap! Unless you don't plan on watching it and just wanna know what happens, which I absolutely do not judge you for.
Up first this week is Kate and Toby and their adoption journey. We know they have a daughter named Haley in the future, but what's the age difference between her and Jack? Was she adopted or did Kate birth her?
Right now we're operating under the assumption that Haley is indeed adopted, and this week Kate and Toby meet her supposed birth mother. Her name is Ellie and she's a 33-year-old single mom. She already has one daughter, Willow, name after the character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ellie got pregnant with maybe-Haley after a one night stand with a guy she met after the death of her husband. She seems really cool and her and Kate get along great.
HOWEVER...I am so wary of these adoption storylines. I watched it go down on Parenthood and again on A Million Little Things (actually, I quit AMLT before it got to that point, but when I read that it did, it didn't surprise me in the slightest). The adoption fakeout is a tired trope. For those who are unfamilar, it's when the birth mom finds a couple (usually main characters on the show) she wants to adopt her baby, and then at the last possible second, usually after she gives birth, she changes her mind. It's so devastating and also overused at this point. I'm really hopeful they stick with Ellie and Ellie sticks with them and gives them Haley of the future.
Next up we've got Randall. Randall has a new therapist, a nice Black man with a baby. He wants Randall to recount memories of his childhood and stop trying to prove to him that he's Black despite being raised by White people. He literally says to his therapist, "Beth, my wife. My Black wife." His therapist is like, "Calm down."
Also shout-out to anyone doing virtual therapy right now (therapists and clients alike). That shit is HARD! It is so different from going in person and having a real private, human conversation. So to those (like me) doing that right now, good job. Mental health is so important, especially during a global pandemic.
Also in Randall-land, Tess gets in trouble at school for posting a "profane" video online with her friend. In the video, she and her friend call out a teacher who is particularly grab-y with Black students, and fails to recognize non-binary students as such. The video is done in the style of a rap/dance/thing and it's...not profane? Like I don't see the issue?
Beth and Randall come down hard on Tess and then ground her for SIX WEEKS. Obviously NBC couldn't make the video worse (I guess?) because it's network television BUT there wasn't even any swearing! Or inappropriate dance moves! Poor Tess was just standing up against her weird ass teacher. I'm Team Tess on this one, guys. Oh, also Randall has a come-to-Jesus moment where he realizes that maybe Tess will turn out better than him, since she already knows who she is. But I beg the question, WHAT ABOUT POOR ANNIE? Annie girl is gonna have all of Randall's anxiety, mark my word.
In flashback 90s world, Jack and Bec are dealing with the Big 3 entering puberty and oh my goodness, those little kid actors have gotten SO big. Their voices are changing and I'm sad because they used to be so freaking little!
Mom and Pops take the kiddos to the doctor to see how they're growing, and then Kate has her friend Tonya and ex Stewart over for a group project. Randall sits in the living room watching TV before doing his homework when Tonya tries to kiss him because she's "always wondered what it'd be like to kiss someone like him". Yucky racism yuck. Grown-up Randall uses this story to write down and possibly tell his therapist. The scene makes me uncomfortable and sad. Fuck Tonya.
Meanwhile, Kevin is trying to get buff for football. Jack takes him to the garage to work out and Bec is apprehensive because she doesn't want Kev to feel like he needs to work out or be a certain size. I mean, he's still growing after all! Last episode showed us that Rebecca didn't want her sons to have to feel male pressure from society, and this scene really drives that point home. Side note: Becca trying to be a "cool mom" is so funny.
Jack and Kevin have a great moment of him teaching Kevin to lift weights, and he doesn't push him too hard. Instead, Kev pushes himself a little too hard, probably trying to prove to himself that he's a big tough guy. I did very much enjoy the wholesome Jack and Kevin content, and wish we got to see more of that. Jack was taken from those kiddos way too soon.
Grown-up Kev is still battling his insecurities when he lands the job in a movie called "Glass Eye". It's about a trial lawyer who takes his shirt off? Anyway, he's still living with pregnant Madison and they're engaged I think. He tells her about the movie and how his diet has the change and she immediately shuts down. He think it's because the sex scenes. LOL.
I'm SO glad they decided to finally address Madison's eating disorder while being pregnant! We watch as she wakes up before Kevin and puts on a full face of makeup before getting dressed and making him breakfast. It reminds me of one of the scenes from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, where Midge does the same so that her husband doesn't see her without makeup. It's so sad to watch Madison here, clearly so insecure about her appearance in front of the man she's seemingly engaged to.
Eventually Madison breaks down, and tells Kevin she has to literally remind herself to eat for her babies. She has bulimia, which we knew but he didn't, and it almost killed her at 17. She's got a handle on it, but she hates that strangers can tell she's pregnant and that Kevin now has to have a strict diet for a movie. Kevin opens up that he's an alcoholic also battling insecurities around his appearance, and decides a trial lawyer shouldn't need to take his f'ing shirt off! They have a really sweet heart to heart and I'm still waiting for them to just KISS but I'll settle for a deeper, authentic love story right now.
Lastly, at both the beginning and end of the episode there are scenes with a Vietnamese man and his granddaughter. He cooks for her and tells her he also cooked to impress the woman he love(s/d?). This is Us loves bringing in new characters all the damn time just to drop them, so I figured this was just a bookend to whatever the Pearson's were going through in this episode.
But! Turns out, this guy is in love/was in love with Laurel, Randall's totally-alive-now birth mother. The end of the episode is a close-up of a picture of the Vietnamese man and Laurel, and I'm sitting here like "Oh." That's literally it. I think I'm supposed to care more, but I thought Laurel was dead for the past four seasons so I guess my heart isn't really in it. Also, that probably means Randall has a shit ton of other family members and then This is Us is just gonna turn into This is the Duggars. I mean, of course not exactly but...kind of?
That's all for this week! As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments! What do we think of Ellie and adoption storylines? Do you ship Kevin and Madison? Was Tess in the wrong or were Randall and Beth "fascists" ("Did she call you a fascist?")? Do you care about Laurel's story? Tell me!
Oh my goodness, it's been ages since I've posted about This is Us, or television in general. Let me tell you, it is hard to find the will to be creative during Covid-times, so I just want to commend anyone who has a job requiring creativity and comedic nature at this time. It is so hard to create and laugh right now (all year, really), but here we are.
I didn't write about the last couple episodes of Season Four of This is Us, mostly because school took over and then online school became a thing and then the pandemic hit and long story short: I just didn't. And I'm sorry. But I'm back now, and ready to recap the heck out of this Season Five premiere!
As always, this is your Spoiler Alert Warning.
*Previously on This is Us voice*: Randall and Kevin have a big fight about Mama Pearson's health! Kevin sleeps with Madison --- and knocks her up (with twins!) Kate and Toby are there! And in the far, far future their daughter (they have a daughter? Yes!) greets her brother at the hospital as his wife births their first child, Hope. Miguel is Miguel, and on the Big Three's 40th birthday, Rebecca gets lost and has an episode in a very un-Covid world.
Obviously Dan Fogelman and his This is Us crew didn't really anticipate Covid, and therefore had to do some reworking with this timeline being presented to us. The first half of the episode takes place over the course of several months. We first flash back to Madison telling Kevin that she's pregnant with his babies, and they have a very obviously re-filmed conversation about the Coronavirus becoming a bigger deal. It's funny to me that they went to these lengths to remind us that Covid exists in this timeline.
Randall delivers the absolute best line of the entire episode when he says, "I know who Madison is, Beth. She's literally the only friend in our entire family," upon learning that Kevin is having kids. It's true, though, none of the Pearson's have friends. Gee, I wonder why...
Randall, Beth, and their kiddos watch the Black Lives Matter protests take place on television, and though it's a TV show it feels just as painful and as real as June itself. Kate calls Randall and asks which Black charities she should donate to, and it's so cringe because obviously she's trying to do the right thing but it comes across as so white savior-y, which is probably exactly the show's intention.
There are several flashbacks of the Big Three's born day, August 31st, 1980. Mainly just the same as the pilot, but reshot with stuff we've never seen. Like William and Jack just missing one another in the hospital, Rebecca giving a beautiful speech about male fragility and how she hopes her son(s) can always be honest and not afraid to show their emotons, and Jack calling his dad (kind of a weird one, tbh).
We also get some flashbacks of William and Laurel (Randall's biological parents) over the course of her pregnancy and untimely death. I always like seeing characters we've never really explored before, and Laurel's story has always remained relatively untold, so it was nice to hear her talk about her addiction and fear of how Randall's life would be.
I also have to admit: I love Kevin and Madison together. I really do. Kevin needs to be happy and have a stable relationship for once. I love his and Sophie's story, but for me, it's over. They were each other's first loves and it has to end at that. Kevin and Zoe were kind of a bore, and I never understood what was happening between him and Cassidy. He needs an honest to goodness NEW love story, and I think he could finally have that with Madison! But if they kill her off in childbirth I SWEAR...
ALSO this is just a direct message to Dan Fogelman himself: LET KEVIN HARTLEY KISS YOUR WIFE, DAMMIT! He shows shots of Kev and Madison sleeping in bed practically naked, and him touching her belly to feel the babies kicking but he won't let them KISS! What the heck!
When we finally catch up to The Big Three's birthday, Kate/Toby, Kevin/Madison, and Rebecca/Miguel are headed up to the cabin for a celebration, while Randall remains sulking at home because he's still not speaking to Kev. Which, I get because they both said some awful things in their fight, but also: get it together you idiot brothers.
Madison trips over her suitcase and is afraid she lost one of the babies, so Kevin and her go to the local hospital where he makes an A+ Grey's Anatomy reference, and then kind of proposes? I want a great love story, guys! Not a masked-up hospital proposal that is spur of the moment! I want him to think it THROUGH! Anywho, I think she says yes? And both their babies are fine. And he says she has "morning sickness" so the others aren't concerned, which is just another obvious rewrite but it's fine.
Kate tells Rebecca that adoption isn't Amazon, which is hilarious and true. Rebecca remembers bringing Randall home the same day as her and Kevin, and everyone at home is like "yeah, that was 1980, Bec." Rebecca has her meltdown in a mask-less restaurant, and the mask-less cops bring her home. Miguel is seemingly unbothered and decides to plant some trees.
After having a heart to heart with his best friend, Malik, Randall decides to go to the cabin after all. He makes sure Mama Pearson is okay, and then he and Kate have an awkward fight about her virtue signaling and he and Kevin make progress by talking about how Kev's afraid to be a girl dad (Madison is having boy/girl twins). They don't really make up, but they also don't tell each other they wish they didn't exist so, baby steps?
On his way home, Randall calls his therapist (who I thought was supposed to be like super important) and tells her he can't see her anymore and that he thinks it would be better for him to have a Black therapist. I think this is an interesting storyline to explore for Randall, especially this year, as he begins to really explore how growing up in a White family has affected him.
Then we get a huge bombshell dropped on us. Just when we thought we'd seen the last of Laurel, as she died of an overdose and William ran for the hills with their baby, it turns out she actually survived! This is very soap opera like, and I don't know that I totally buy/dig it. For as long as we've watched this show, Laurel has been dead. And how would Randall have never found her when he found William? How did William never realize she was alive? It all seems very messy and unrealistic, but I guess we will just have to wait and see. Also Randall was DEF born on the 30th, right?
Also, for the love of all things, can we please find out how Miguel and Rebecca got together because their relationship makes NO sense to me and has never been explained yet we're bringing characters back to life! C'mon!
What did y'all think of this premiere? Impressive? Sad? Surprising? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, friends! I'm writing this in a timely fashion for once because I'm on top of my game! Yay! Last night's episode of This is Us was a mix of really sweet moments, a really unrealistic therapy session, and lots and lots of Joni Mitchell. Let's get to it!
Here's your SPOILER ALERT warning as always, if you haven't watched Season 4, Episode 15 "Clouds" I suggest going and doing that and then coming back to me! Thanks!
Kate and Toby are still having marital woes, which is frustrating because nobody on this show can ever just be happy. Toby unveils a present for Kate he came up with while she was away; a music studio for her (and Jack). Instead of thanking Toby for being thoughtful, she kinda freaks the fuck out and says that a grand gesture isn't enough. I get it but also, we are EXHAUSTED, Kate.
She has lunch with Madison who, after sleeping with Kevin, is suprisingly insightful. She's like, "Girl. Toby's trying. Let him try." And then mentions Kevin being the first guy who's ever really "seen" her, which I think is really special and makes me okay with them ending up together (if they do because at this point I have absolutely no idea). Kate goes back to Toby and lets him show her the part of the music studio for Jack, and then at the end we get flashforwards of Jack using it for years and years to come. I cried a little.
In the early 90's, the kiddos get their report cards and Randall has a CRISIS over getting an A-. Becca wants to get him some help for his anxiety from a counselor or something but Jack assures her that he will take care of it. His solution? RUNNING.
Guys, I love Jack. I always have and I always will. But it's hard to not overlook his faults as a parent, often time masked as strengths and bonding moments with his kids. I too have been told that all I needed was a little exercise when it came to managing my anxiety, but the truth is that that is not enough, and it doesn't work for everyone especially those suffering from severe anxiety like myself and Randall.
We've seen in previous episodes that Randall uses running as an outlet, and in a sequence here we see him running with Jack, running as a teenager without Jack, and running as an adult. Jack was a good dad. Jack didn't understand the severity of his son's issues.
So after all these years, Randall is going to therapy, and his therapist sucks. We don't see her face until the end of the episode, probably for dramatic effect and so we're more focused on Randall during the therapy session itself, but good god, she's awful. As someone who has gone to therapy for almost ten years, this is NOT how all therapists are. For one, she knows his story because she's heard his speeches, meaning she has preconceived notions about Randall before even meeting him, and she doesn't make him comfortable (ESPECIALLY IN A FIRST SESSION) she pokes and prods and just lets him ramble without being reassuring or gentle. Huge dislike, I don't blame Randall for wanting to quit.
But the best scene for Randall comes at the end between him and Beth, where she empties her purse and reveals that she carries pepper spray when closing her dance studio at night, takes doctor prescribed sleeping pills because she can't sleep, and bought Annie an iPhone because after the break-in she's terrified of not being able to contact her daughter. It just goes to show that everyone is hurting, and it persuades Randall to give his awful therapist a second chance. The guy needs therapy but not with this woman! Yuck!
While Randall is getting his therapy on, Kevin takes it upon himself to spend the day with his mother, who is about to get results from her MRI. Spoiler alert: It looks like our Bec is gonna have Alzheimer's :(.
They go shopping at the record store and then on a L.A. road trip to find Joni Mitchell's old house, something Jack and Becca tried to do back in the day. In flashbacks, pre-teen Kevin and Rebecca go scowering for baseball cards after getting groceries, Kev's reward for his two A's on his report card. He buys 14 packs for eight dollars, chew 60-second lasting gum, and Mama Pearson puts her magic touch on one pack to get Kevin the card he desires; a 1991 Jack Candelaria.
They find Ms. Mitchell's house and Becca sings "Our House" as she sees it up close for the first time, a scene that perfectly mirrors her singing it to Jack (and failing to get him to sing along). Kevin looks so happy to see his mama happy, and oh no, I'm crying again.
I still don't understand how we've gone four seasons without an explanation as to how and why Miguel and Bec ended up married, but it breaks my heart to see the side by side of Jack and Rebecca having movie night and snuggling compared to Miguel and Rebecca. Something will just never be right.
Rebecca tells Kevin that his fun spirit never gets lost upon her, and as Kevin reflects back on that day with his mom in the 90's, he goes to a pawn shop and buys a 1991 Jack Candelaria card for two dollars and keeps it in his wallet. Ouch my heart hurts.
Episodes like these remind me how much heart this show has, and that it doesn't have to be over the top to create tear-inducing moments. So often I feel like the writers/creators hype it up too much, so you're expecting more tears or plot twists. "Clouds" reminds us that small moments can have big impacts, and that life is fragile, but Joni Mitchell is timeless.
What did y'all think? Are you sad we have to wait two weeks for another episode? How do you feel about Rebecca's diagnosis? Was I too hard on Randall's therapist (NO!)? Do you think Kate and Toby back on track now? Let me know in the comments!
My aunt told me that last week's episode of This is Us, entitled "The Cabin" was her favorite episode in a season and a half. While I'd argue that the best episode as of late was Kevin's "Hell of a Week", I do agree that this episode was a gamechanger, and felt oddly familar and comforting.
It's not often we get all 3 Pearson siblings together (two live in L.A., one lives in Philly) and it's even less frequent we get them together without their spouses. This episode was all about the 'Sad Three' navigating a rough patch in their lives and figuring out what lies ahead. SPOILER WARNING!
This episode is told in 3 timelines; 1993, 1999, and 2020. Let's start in '93, shall we?
The Pearson kiddos are around 12/13 and oh my god they're annoying! But in a good, annoying teenager way. Jack thinks it'd be a fun idea for everyone to put something into a time capsule he got for them, including himself and Bec. In true Pearson family fashion, Kevin thinks the whole ordeal is stupid, Kate thinks it could be fun, and Randall is dressed out beyond belief at the idea of putting something meaningful in for him to find when he's 18.
Meanwhile, Jack daydreams of building a dream house for him and Becca to grow old in, one up on a hill that overlooks their small cabin. He draws a sketch of it and throws it in the garbage.
In 1999, Rebecca, Kevin, and Randall are on their way to the cabin to help Kate because they think she's in trouble. They're stopped by a snowstorm and their trip is delayed until the roads open back up in the morning. When they arrive, Marc is making breakfast and things seem normal, until they notice a draft coming from the window.
The boys discover the window shattered, and Kate's hand wrapped in gloves. She claims she's fine, she's just cold, but when she takes off the gloves a huge gash in her hand is revealed. Flashback to the previous night, she tried to make coffee and a fire with Marc. He took Jack's mug when she asked him not to, and accidentally broke it. They fought, and he locked her out of the cabin while she collected firewood. It was snowing and freezing and she had to break the window to get back in.
Rebecca is having NONE of Marc's shit and, quite simply tells him to, "Get the hell out of my house." He stands there unfazed, until the boys take a step forward and Rebecca remains firm, and he finally leaves. Becca holds teen Kate in her arms as she cries, "He told me he loved me."
Present day Big Three leaves their familes (well Kevin, leaves Madison) behind as they embark on their sibling getaway. Toby offers to look after Jack for the weekend, insisting that he needs to do it to spend time with his son and also show Kate that he's the man she married. She reluctantly lets him, and things go mostly well aside from Jack nearly choking but it's all good 'cause Tobes has it under control.
When the grown-up Pearson's arrive at the cabin, the power goes out almost immediately due to a storm. They head to a grocery store for candles, food, and shit (or in the case of Randall...wifi). While there, Kate listens to her voicemails from Madison (THREE OF THEM) in which she slowly confesses to sleeping with Kevin. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Randall wants to get a signal so he can check the security cameras at his house, but service is so bad he can't. The siblings' frustrations come to a head as Randall and Kate finally tell Kevin that Rebecca is struggling and might be showing early signs of permenant memory loss. He storms out and sulks in the cold, but not for long before Kate and Randall come get him.
They decide to dig up the time capsule because it's been nearly 30 years since they buried it. They didn't open it back in '98 because of the VERY SAD THING that happened that year. Inside they find: a picture of Kophie from Kevin, a game of M*A*S*H from Kate, a missing puzzle piece from Randall (Kevin's idea to ease his brother's anxiety), Jack's drawing of the house, and a tape recorder.
Originally believing the drawing to be from Jack, they wonder why Rebecca left the tape and recorder. They listen to it and find out that she didn't; Jack did. It's a message from him talking about the family, and how Becca is the glue that holds them all together. She dug his sketch out of the garbage and put it in the capsule, something he suspected when he couldn't find it later. He describes how fiercely loyal his wife is, and how much he loves her. BRB BAWLING RIGHT NOW.
THEN as if that wasn't enough we get a flash forward to approx. 10-12 years in the future, a time frame we've seen briefly before (the one where Bec is on her death bed). Kevin gets out of his car with food in a bag, pulling up to the house that Jack envisioned building for Becca all those years ago. He looks down, all salt and pepper and aging handsomely, at the cabin under the hill all lit up. Beth answers the door and we see that he made his dad's dreams come true, with the house and Rebecca growing old (and eventually dying we can presume) there.
Alright folks! That's all I have for you! Are you crying again? Because I kind of am. Let me know what you thought of this episode in the comments!
It's completely my bad that it's taken so long to write this recap. I took notes on this episode while watching it and then accidentally deleted it (stupid phones) and then in an attempt to recover said deleted note, I deleted it forever, because I don't know how to use technology. So not only is this post hella late, it's also going to be completely based from memory because I figured it would be more fun that way.
I am writing this obligatory SPOILER ALERT because I will feel very bad if I don't, but if you're two weeks behind on This is Us, that is nobody's problem but your own! Sorry for the sass, let's get to Kate's "Hell of a Week".
Up until this point, the show has been building up an incident between Kate and her older boyfriend, Marc. He's 23; she's 18. He hired her at the record store and she likes him because he's like a security blanket from all the bad things she's endured. EXCEPT, he's really causing a lot of shit in her life.
He gets mad at her for the smallest things, including her talking to a customer about music at the store THEY BOTH WORK AT. He's not driven, shows little to no interest in interacting with her family, and quits his job on a limb because he's pissed at Kate and then proceeds to get more pissed at her when she informs him that she won't be quitting with him. Side Note: I totally he said he quit smoking, when he said he quit his job. He said something about smoking in that same breath. I was probably just really tired.
Anyway, Marc seems to have some sort of mental illness/alcoholism because he is very back and forth. When Kate addresses his outbursts, he apologizes and kisses her like nothing ever happened. I've read people on line diagnosing him with BPD or Bipolar Disorder, and I don't want to just throw a label on his issues, but those two do seem to make the most sense.
Case in point, when Kate tells Rebecca that she and Marc are going to go stay at the family cabin the day after Bec's birthday dinner and Bec expresses minor discomfort, Kate and Marc take off, skipping her birthday celebration all together. On the ride there they seem to be having an okay time, singing Ben Folds and holding hands, until Marc snaps and begins to swerve off the road in the snow. He leaves Kate on the side of the road, with nothing but her overnight bag.
Now's a good time to mention that not only is Marc emotionally abusive, he verbally harasses Kate on multiple occasions, typically resorting to calling her 'fat', which of course is triggering to her because she has always struggled with her weight, but having the person you love call you ugly and fat...that's just not right.
Kate runs to the nearest gas station where she calls her mom, and this is the scene we've watched several times of Bec cancelling her birthday dinner and Kevin phoning Randall so they can go rescue Kate. Shortly after hanging up the phone, Marc pulls up to the gas station with a blanket for Katie girl, and they go back to the cabin before his next outburst.
In the present day, Toby is sucking majorly and skips out on the blind children retreat because of 'work' and because he isn't really feeling having a blind son. Old Rebecca rules, and she decides to step up and go with Kate so they can spend some time together.
Kate and Rebecca manage to go an entire trip without fighting, actually they bond instead. When Kate refuses to go swimming because of how she will look in a bathing suit Becca exclaims, "You're fat, I'm ancient, we're gorgeous!" I gasped as I watched such a positive, hilarious mother-daughter moment on TV and wept as they finally seemed to get each other. Becca heartbreakingly reveals her medical diagnosis, and Kate feels jipped because of course Bec's health is failing just as their relationship is back on course. There's a moment where the two of them sing "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morrisette at the karoke bar and it's so wholesome and beautiful.
Side side note: Kate calls Gregory (her neighbor) to check in back home instead of Toby, and while I'm not sure it's anything romantic, I sure do love their dynamic.
Oh! I totally forgot to mention that this whole time Jack is reading toddler Kate a bedtime story, one that she helps tell. It's all about a princess who just wants her mama. It's so fitting and perfect for everything that happens. She just needs her mom.
Finally, the trilogy ends with Kevin and Randall calling Kate when she arrives back from the retreat and telling her that they want to take a 'Sad Three' trip to the cabin.
What did ya think? Did you think the Marc stuff would be more or less extreme? Which episode of the Big Three Trilogy was your favorite? (Mine was Kevin's, obviously). Tell me in the comments!
And if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, don't be afraid to the domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233. Everyone deserves help. It's not your fault.
Kevin Also Has "A Hell Of A Week" As His Love Story With Sophie Comes To A Possible Close (S4, Ep12 Recap)
Hi, my dear readers and This is Us fans! I want to apologize deeply for the delay in getting this recap up, school has been kicking my butt and this is the first chance I am having to write about, what I personally consider, the best episode of This is Us all season. Actually, it might be the best episode since Season 2. I know, I know, I'm getting crazy.
In "A Hell Of A Week: Part 2", we get to see Kevin's difficultly to let go of the past and perhaps finally move on from his great love story. THIS IS YOUR SPOILER ALERT, ALTHOUGH THIS EPISODE AIRED LITERALLY TWO WEEKS AGO SO LIKE, YOU'VE WATCHED IT BY NOW.
In an effort to continue incorporating Jack in the show, we learn that the night that toddler Randall couldn't fall asleep, neither could toddler Kevin. He wants his little sheep mobile that Rebecca has already donated. Jack tells him, toward the end of the episode, that he's going to "find something else to love" and if that isn't putting the nail in the coffin for Kevin/Sophie, I don't know what is. Oh wait! Yes, I do! The rest of the episode! That does it!
We know by now that Sophie called Kevin because her mother, Claire, passed away. In flashbacks, we as viewers meet Claire for the first time and she's...eccentric. She's irresponsible with money, Kevin's biggest fan, but she also is somewhat realistic. She refuses to give Kevin her mother's engagement ring, a beautiful emerald ring that Sophie wants badly, because she wants him to earn it. He never does.
The whole episode is incredibly meta. As Kevin is working on night shoots for his movie, he insists to the director that the "ending we already shot was pretty good,". But, the director persists, "This is the ending everyone wants and they still won't see it coming." We thought that we were done with Sophie when she announced her engagement to Grant (whose face we don't see in this episode), but this episode proves there's more to be told when it comes to Kevin's greatest love thus far.
Additionally, a running gag between teenage and adult Kevin and Sophie is predicting an ending when things get sad. To what? Well, we learn that the night of the horrific Pearson house fire, Kevin and Sophie went to a party in the woods. They got bored and decided to get donuts and go to the movies instead, where they saw MOST of Good Will Hunting. The power goes out and they aren't able to see the end so they make it up for the next 20 years, vowing to never watch it. After showing up at Claire's funeral and then again at her old house for the reception (with powdered donuts!!), Kevin whisks Sophie away to that same spot in the woods, where they finally watch the ending.
I love so much of this because Kevin and Sophie as kids and as teenagers are perfect for one another. They compliment each other so well, and I could watch an entire movie of teen Kev and Soph's love story. I also love the realism that this episode has. Yes, they were perfect, but Kevin messed it up. He cheated on her during their marriage and they were never able to come back from it. They tried, but his alcoholism got in the way and eventually she found someone else. I like to see them as the anti-Jack and Rebecca. They just didn't work out, and while it's so sad, it's okay. They had some really beautiful moments.
Speaking of beautiful moments, I LOST it when teen Sophie hands Kevin a napkin during his father's funeral with an alternate ending to the movie. What a perfect, emotional moment between two vulnerable people. Also, the scene when Kevin talks to Claire's grave and leaves his headshot and then takes it away is so sad and funny at the same time. I can't stop thinking about how amazing Justin Hartley is.
After Kevin and Sophie say their goodbyes, Kevin heads back to LA and to Kate's house to hang out with her and baby Jack. When he arrives, Kate's bff Madison opens the door. Apparently Toby is at work, Kate and baby Jack went on the retreat she originally got as a birthday present for Toby, and Madison is dog sitting Audio.
They have a cup of tea and share their romantic struggles. Kevin tells her not to focus so much on being left and instead celebrate the fact that she's the one who wants to stay. One thing leads to another and it sure looks like they sleep together. I mean, we don't see them kiss or anything sexy but Kevin does wake up shirtless in the bed next to her when he calls Randall the next day. He suggests the three siblings go back to Pittsburgh to the old cabin.
As Sophie goes through her mother's things, she is finally able to have the emerald ring she always desired. She looks at it and compares it to her current engagement ring from faceless Grant and cries to herself. Some may take this as the Kophie story not being over, but I think it is. I don't think Kevin will ever earn that ring; it's Sophie's to keep now. When you think about it, it's really gut-wrenching and brutal, but life is like that sometimes and it's nice to see that play out on TV.
I haven't decided whether or not I'm okay with this Madison thing yet, or if I believe that she's his baby mama and future fiancé. It would be nice to see the story unfold, and no matter how much I love Sophie and Kevin's story, I think it's time to finally let it go and move on.
What do you think? Are you still team #Kophie or are you ready for Kevin's next great love story? Let me know in the comments!
The councilman is struggling, y'all. As if we didn't already know that Randall had chronic anxiety (untreated, I might add), this episode really cements that. It's a little redundant, in my personal opinion, but it also goes to show that not all heroes wear capes, and not everyone is as strong (whether it be mentally or physically) as they want to be.
SPOILER ALERT: IT'S BEEN A MINUTE SINCE THE EPISODE AIRED BUT AS ALWAYS, IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED SEASON 4, EPISODE 11 "A HELL OF A WEEK: PART ONE" (I'M REALIZING NOW THAT THE PART ONE IMPLIES THAT THERE WILL INDEED BE A PART TWO TO THIS STRESSFUL SAGA) PLEASE DON'T READ ON OR YOU'LL BE AN ANXIOUS MESS FOR NO REASON AT ALL. THANKS!
Last week's episode ended on a horrifying note when Randall found an armed man in his home. He says, "I won't let you get past me," which is a pretty ballsy move because I would've for sure either 1) screamed bloody murder OR 2) started crying hysterically begging for this man to take my shit and leave. Randall throws some money at the man (he has a money clip @ John Mulaney!)
The man ends up leaving and Randall calls the police and it's all very hard to watch knowing Beth along with their three daughters were all sleeping in the house. I'm sitting here like; how did this man get in? Why doesn't Randall, a city councilman leaving in a nice house in Philly, not have a security system installed? I truly believe he takes on too much, and the flashbacks of this episode prove he's been that way his entire life.
Randall calls Kevin to process what just happened, and Kevin informs him that he's back in Pittsburgh for Sophie's mom's funeral (that's why she called, y'all!). Kevin asks Randall where he was coming home from since he said he was at the airport, and Randall has to lie to his brother about their mother's derailing health. It's a nice scene between two brothers, so I'll give the episode that.
Before I forget, I should mention that when Randall calls Kevin later in the episode to talk, we see Kevin in bed with a blonde haired woman. If it's Sophie, God help us all. I'm sure we'll find out next episode though.
In flashbacks to the college years, or the beginning of the post-Jack era, Randall and Rebecca chat as she does her son's laundry. He tells her he's been having nightmares, but of course he doesn't go into much detail about them because he's Randall and he's the man of the house and he's the new Jack Pearson. Back at school, Randall uses Beth as his safe haven, often having her stay the night so he can fall asleep. Randall and Beth are goals at ALL ages.
Kevin and Sophie come home early for Becca's birthday dinner, and Randall and Bec witness Kate throwing flowers into the garbage and fighting with her mysterious older boyfriend, Marc. The way they argue is so true to older Kate's character; it sounds like she's pleading with him and apologizing for nothing, something present-day Kate would do.
Teen Beth suggests to Teen Randall that he address his grief about his father in a group setting. After all, both Beth and Randall lost their fathers around the same time, but while Beth seems to have made peace with her father's death, Randall is still obviously reeling from it. They plan on going to a support group, but just then Randall gets a call from Kevin saying that they (being him and Rebecca) are on their way to pick Randall up because something is wrong with Kate. Dun dun dun.
So, once again, Randall doesn't get the help he needs and he pushes everything down in an effort to make everybody else's lives easier and better.
In the present-day, Randall is distracted at work because he is terrified that that man is going to break into his home again. The police informed that they usually strike two nights in a row because families usually don't stay in their homes. His phone keeps going off due to the security system being installed, and he can't seem to pay attention or listen to anyone. He comes home to have a panic attack in his bathroom, and I'm like, bro, I would've had one in the bathroom at work.
Beth tells Randall that they need to take the day after the Town Hall to talk about all of this and he agrees. While getting ready for the Town Hall Meeting, Beth's earrings seem to have been stolen as well as Randall's cuff links. Randall figures that the man came into his room, which sends him spiraling even more. At the meeting he can't even articulate answers properly.
The next morning he goes running and runs (ha!) into Malik's dad who is like "bro, do you do anything to help with your shit BESIDES running?" and Randall is like "no". Malik's dad tells him to go to therapy and Randall is like "ok but first I gotta save this woman from being robbed" AND HE DOES IN THE BROAD DAYLIGHT. That's literally all I have to say about that because it's too much for one episode.
Anywho, to wrap up, there's a scene in this episode where Jack, pre-sobriety, gives a three or four year old Randall a pep talk before bed. Randall can't fall asleep in his big boy bed and seeks Jack's help. Jack tells him that Kevin and Kate are high maintenance, and so Randall is going to have to do everyone a favor and not be high maintenance. He's going to have to be the tough one, the strong one, the dependable one. It's not Jack's finest parenting moment, because look at the mess it has created. But it's a good reminder that these characters are humans, and humans are allowed to make mistakes.
So that's it on this episode! It makes me sad to see such an able man like Randall not get the help he needs, and I hope he does soon. What did y'all think? Comment!
You guys!!! TV is back! More specifically, This is Us is back! I wanted to love this episode, y'all, I really did. But I just didn't. I was really feeling the first maybe 20 minutes and then it lost me.
SPOILER ALERT: YOU KNOW THE DEAL, IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED SEASON FOUR, EPISODE 10 "LIGHTS AND SHADOWS", STOP READING NOW. BUT IF YOU'RE JUST AS TIRED AS ME AND JUST WANT TO KNOW WHY THIS SHOW HAS MADE ME SO SAD, GO AHEAD AND KEEP ON READING.
Okay, so first thing's first; I thought we explored the beginning of Jack and Bec's relationship enough. And I don't mean like their whole relationship, I just mean the very beginning where her father doesn't approve and takes Jack to a country club and basically relives that one episode of Gilmore Girls where Richard takes Luke golfing only we get to see it here play out in like eight different episodes. The trope is tired; I just want to see Jack and Bec happy or maybe see the moment he proposed to her or early moments in their marriage. I don't care that her parents didn't want them together because I know they end up together. Enough.
Side Note: Did anyone else feel like Rebecca's mom's speech about Jack was totally out of character? I don't know if that was due to Becca's failing memory or what but it just seemed really off.
Big Three Fail of the Episode #1: Kate and Toby argue about LadyKryptonite, whose name we learn is actually Kara. He says he just vents in his CrossFit group chat to blow off steam, but Kate feels weird about it. She decides to throw his (probably Aqaurius) ass a Jimmy Buffet themed birthday party, but is disheartened to learn that Toby no longer goes to the gym with all those she invited. He switched gyms two weeks ago. Why? Kara tried to kiss him.
Kate handles herself really well this episode, which doesn't happen often, but I'm thankful that it did. She calls Toby out for avoiding being home with her and Jack, and when he confesses that their blind son just makes him sad, she can't even look at him. She says she booked them all a trip to a retreat for parents of blind children and he says something about how he can never watch Star Wars with his son. Whatever, dude. I guess this is less of a Kate fail and more of a Toby fail, but her marriage is failing nonetheless.
Big Three Fail of the Episode #2: Guys! I was so freaking excited too see Sophia Bush back on my TV screen. I ADORE Sophia Bush. So when I heard she was playing a role in Kevin's story I was over the moon. Needless to say, I am not longer over the moon.
Kevin hires a matchmaker because he has that whole plan to be engaged and have a kid by the time he's 40 which is in like, nine months. When the matchmaking doesn't go as planned, he meets Lizzie (Sophia Bush) in a coffee shop and they immediately click. Their chemistry is adorable and I want her to have his Pearson babies. Lizzie explains that she's from Chicago and she's on a business trip, meaning she can't stay. So Kevin, always the romantic, plans this amazing first date where he takes her to an empty Hollywood Bowl to see her favorite musician, John Legend.
He tells her about the great romance that was Jack and Rebecca, and for a second it starts to feel too good to be true. She keeps getting calls and texts from her mom, and I'm thinking maybe something's wrong back home. But when Kevin kisses her, she finally confesses; she's married and he is nothing more than her celebrity hall pass. Her mom calling? Nope, that was her husband telling her to go for it. Booooooo.
So I guess we won't be seeing more Sophia Bush around or Jennifer Morrison, or anyone that would make an adorable couple with Kevin. Instead as Kevin heads to set that night we watch as he gives his cell phone to an assistant just as an incoming call reads "Sophie". BOOOOOOOO AGAIN.
I! Am! Done! With! Kophie! I'm all for a further explanation into what went wrong in their marriage, but why not parallel that with Kevin meeting the right girl and having SOMETHING good happen? No more Sophie. Get out. You've had your chance. This storyline is dead and tired.
Big Three Fail of the Episode #3: The third and final fail of the episode comes from Randall. He's the only one that knows about Mama Pearson's declining health, and has been asked to keep it that way. He flies to wherever it is that Becca and Miguel live now and goes to the doctors with them. Miguel is a pain in the ass and is super rude to Randall, and as always Randall questions the authority and intelligence of medical professionals which irks me to no end.
We don't learn much about Rebecca's health, only that she's showing signs of memory loss and it needs to continue to be monitored. Miguel apologizes to Randall and takes Bec home to watch World of Dance. I'm now realizing it's been almost four seasons and I still hate Miguel because I have absolutely no idea how they became a couple. Literally no idea besides that Facebook message he sent her.
Randall goes home and there's this really long sequence of him saying goodnight and checking up on each of his daughters, including a lingering shot of him kissing Beth goodnight and telling her he's going to go downstairs and grab a glass of water. As he does, he sees a hooded man with a knife standing in his living room. Dun dun dun! But actually literally terrifying.
Final Note: That John Legend song was kind of catchy.
Final Final Note: After 10 years, Mandy Moore is finally releasing a new album! As someone who listens to her 2007 work of art, Wild Hope, all the damn time, you could say I'm pretty excited!
What did y'all think? Are you just as bummed out as me? What's next? Tell me in the comments!
Oh wow, y'all. Oh wow. Where do I even begin? I truly feel like this is the first This is Us episode in like 2 seasons where I truly was at the edge of my seat and the cliffhanger blew my mind. Remember when we found out that Rebecca was married to Miguel at the end of the second episode of the series? This felt like that.
I CAN'T REALLY SAY MORE WITHOUT MAKING A VERY BIG, VERY BOLD SPOILER ALERT FOR "SO LONG MARIANNE". IF YOU CONTINUE READING THIS AND THEN YOU'RE MAD THAT YOU GOT SPOILED I WILL NOT FEEL BAD FOR YOU. K, THANKS.
It's Thanksgiving and you know what that means! Randall is hosting! Well, Beth is hosting and Randall is going on a wild goose chase to Jersey for their Thanksgiving decor (i.e. The Pilgrim Rick hat) with Annie and a very anxious Uncle Nicky at his side. Nicky feels uncomfortable in the Pearson home, especially given that Jack killed him off in his life's story. I cannot stress this enough, I LOVE Uncle Nicky.
One of my favorite Uncle Nicky moments this episode is when he tries to convince Kevin to let him go with Randall, saying, "It gives me some time to get to know Russell." Only to be corrected by Randall himself, "Randall." Nicky then proves his own point, "See?". As for my other favorite Uncle Nicky moments, well, they come in the form of some flashbacks that we'll get to later.
Toby and Kate take baby Jack on a plane to Philly where Kate decides to come clean and tell her husband that their son actually tried avocado for the first time with their neighbor Gregory. Toby is mad, but quickly gets over it, and I've now realized he has no place to be mad. He lied to Kate for MONTHS about going to the gym, getting jacked, and joining Crossfit, but she lets him believe for 24 hours that his first time eating solid food was with his dad and she's the bad guy? I don't love it. And you know things must be bad if I'm taking Kate's side.
ALSO on Thanksgiving when Toby asks Kate to take a photo with his phone, she finds a message from someone named "LadyKryptonite" that says something along the lines of "Don't let her get you down." First of all, who puts someone in their phone as LadyKryptonite (No spaces either) and second of all, EXCUSE ME? Toby Damon, go home, you're drunk on Crossfit.
In the flashybacks a much younger and pre-Vietnam Nicky and Jack decide to skip their family Thanksgiving because their parents are fighting. They spend some time together, listen to Leonard Cohen, and order five pounds of shrimp. The back and forth between Randall explaining what "So Long, Marianne" is about to old Nicky as young Nicky explains what it means to young Jack is truly heartbreaking. Nicky feels erased, but he also feels his brother's love, all in one breath. I cried, obviously.
Nicky brings the 5 pounds of shrimp out again at 2019's Thanksgiving dinner. He says, "It's for Jack. My brother." And then I exploded into a puddle of tears, you know, as one does.
Also on the guest list is Shauna, Deja's birth mama, and she's doing fantastic, which should cheer everyone up, but in reality bums them out. Beth is scared that Deja will long for her mom, and Deja breaks down and asks Beth why Shauna couldn't be like that for her. It's hard to watch.
Rebecca is still pissed at Randall for recommending that she see a doctor for her memory issues, and when he tries to apologize she shuts him down. She insists on going to a movie alone, and I'm irritated by Miguel's silence in all of this. He just stays out of it, which is weird. I feel like as her husband he should tell Randall and the other kids what is going on with their mother's health.
We watch as Becca goes searching for a bakery to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. She mistakes a young black man for a young William, and then loses her phone at the grocery store checkout where she buys flowers instead of cake. Then she goes and gets Chinese food (it's Thanksgiving, sis) alone and finally realizes that she doesn't have her phone which sends her spiraling. Honestly, the whole thing is very difficult to watch and I give props to Mandy Moore for her performance.
I wrote in my notes for this episode that the new live action Cats movie looks terrifying. They must've show a commercial for it. I stand by that statement.
adorablenessYou guys! Kevin has a really good episode (well, almost)! He is Uncle of the Year by taking Tess out and supportively urging her to come out to her friends at school. He is just so real and honest and grown-up with her and I love it.
He also comes to the conclusion that in 9 months time (The Big 3's 40th birthday), he wants to be settled down. He wants to be married, or engaged and he wants a baby. Randall is like "Okay my dude please slow down" but Kevin is like "Nah, enough of this waiting bullshit" (This is exactly how their conversation goes, don't try to argue with me).
So guess what? We see into the future, many parts of it actually. Grown-up Jack Damon and his wife make an appearance on a Thanksgiving probably 20+ years from now, where Lucy is pregnant with their child and stressed about hosting. Jack tells her not to worry, eat some shrimp adding, "There's five pounds." MY HEART. (If you don't understand what any of this means: remember the flashback from earlier? The adoreableness?)
Do you also remember earlier when Rebecca's dumbass went and got Chinese food on Thanksgiving? Well, turns out she didn't. She actually wandered off on August 31st, 2020, 9 months into the future. On Thanksgiving she really did go to the movie, but by the time she got the previews she forgot what she had come to see. She reluctantly asks Randall to help her navigate whatever illness is plaguing her.
But in the flash forward, she's doing much worse. That's where she got lost on her way to the grocery store, left her phone there, and had an afternoon lunch for one. After her meltdown in the restaurant, the police escort her home...to Kevin's home.
Yes, Kevin's home where he is celebrating his 40th birthday with his sister Kate and his pregnant fiancée (this mystery woman is offscreen, suffering bouts of morning sickness). Miguel is also there, but I don't care because clearly he is no help with this Rebecca thing. Kate signs the legal documents as "Kate Pearson" which raises several red flags like; Where is Toby? Where is baby Jack? Why didn't she sign it Kate Damon? Do we care?
And finally, when Becca asks Kevin where Randall is, he painfully reminds her, "We aren't speaking." FOR WHY, Kevin? FOR WHY?
Aaaaaand that's a wrap on the first half of Season Four. What do we think so far? Got any wild predictions? Who is Kevin knocking up and marrying (if it's Sophie, we RIOT)? Why aren't he and Randall speaking? Surely, it's got something to do with Rebecca's health. And are we on the road to a KaToby divorce? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and happy holidays!
This Is Us returns Tuesday, January 14th at 9PM on NBC.